UN: 11 migrants drown off Libya; third shipwreck per week

CAIRO — 11 migrants hoping to reach Europe, such as a pregnant girl, drowned Sunday when their boat capsized off the coast of Libya, the U.N. migration bureau stated, which makes it the third-largest shipwreck from the Mediterranean Sea at weekly.

Safa Msehli, the spokeswoman for the International Organization for Migration, said the Libyan Coast Guard appeared at least 10 additional migrants and returned to the coast.

The IOM stated five people also perished when their boat capsized Thursday off the coast of Lampedusa, Italy.

This past year, some 500 migrants have died attempting to cross the Central Mediterranean, according to the IOM’s figures, but the company cautioned that there were probably more deaths that had gone uncounted.

Federico Soda, IOM Libya leader of the mission, tied the deaths to”the absence of comprehensive sea-rescue operations”

Since 2017, European countries, especially Italy, have assigned the most search-and-rescue obligation to the northeast Coast Guard, which intercepts migrant ships before they could reach European waters.

Activists have lamented that European governments are blocking the usage of nongovernmental rescue organizations that patrol the Mediterranean and attempt to disembark in European ports.

Smugglers frequently pack distressed households into ill-equipped rubber ships that stall and creator across the perilous Central Mediterranean route.

At least 20,000 people have perished in these waters because of 2014, according to the IOM.